Lloyd Sugarman, the largest Johnny Rockets' franchisee, will open his first Pizza Studio location at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn., on Jan. 20.

According to a news release, the Mall of America location is the first to open outside of California and the initial store from the multi-unit development deal Sugarman signed with Pizza Studio last year, which will also bring multiple units to New England.

"We are very excited to launch our first Pizza Studio location," Sugarman said. "Mall of America sees up to 40 million visitors each year and is the perfect site for us to introduce this rapidly expanding concept. Pizza Studio has the best people, the best operations and systems and the best product. My expertise is picking a winning concept and I know that's what I've got here."

In addition to the Mall of America location, Sugarman hopes to develop further in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. market and plans to open 12 units in the Northeast, primarily in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. He is currently eyeing the area near Boston University for his first New England location. Sugarman specializes in non-traditional locations such as college campuses, malls and casinos, the release said.

Since its founding in Los Angeles in 2012, Pizza Studio has signed development agreements with several experienced multi-unit operators for more than 148 units across the country with several more in the works.

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